Effects of flow history on oil entrapment in porous media: An experimental study
The effect of flow history on fluid phase entrapment during immiscible two-phase flow in Hele-Shaw cells packed with spherical and crushed glass beads is investigated. The wetting fluid is injected into an initially oil saturated cell at a well-defined capillary number. It is observed that the size and shape of the trapped clusters strongly depend on the history of flooding such that less oil was trapped in the medium when the injecting capillary number gradually increased to the final maximum capillary number compared to the case when the injection was started and maintained constant at the maximum capillary number. In addition, a comprehensive series of experiments were conducted to delineate the effects of the capillary number on the phase entrapment. Contrary to previously published data, our experimental data reveal that the residual oil saturation depends on capillary number nonmonotonically. A physically based relationship to scale the capillary desaturation curve is proposed.
Capillary desaturation curve